Updated Sep 09, 2020; Posted Sep 02, 2020
A 44-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of arson in a wildfire that has burned nearly 400 acres and prompted evacuations west of Eugene, deputies say. Elias Newton Pendergrass is accused of first-degree arson in the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire, which covers 382 acres near the community of Mapleton. Pendergrass, a Mapleton resident, is being held in the Lane County Jail.
The county sheriff’s office didn’t provide details about the arson allegation in a news release Tuesday afternoon.
Officials have previously said several fires started Sunday afternoon and that they were managing the blazes as a single fire.
Some area residents are still under evacuation, while others have been told to be ready or set to leave.
The blaze is estimated to be 15% contained, fire officials said early Wednesday.
The Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire is seen in an undated photo.Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire InciWeb page